Saturday Rundown

I hate to say it, but I’m a sucker for a good cover, espcially on a first issue.  When I saw the cover Epic Kill #1 I was sold without any of the other evaluation I would normally do.  While Raffaele Ienco’s cover and pin-ups were solid, but his sequential art was not.  His figures look stiff and awkward, a series of drawings with no emotion or interaction.  The story is a mediocre “girl killer on the run” that’s by-the-numbers.  Ienco definitely has a future in comics, especially since he’s put together the entire package himself, but he’s got some work to do first.  Image approved Epic Kill a little early in his career.

Hoax Hunters #0 was another good example of a cover reaching up off the stands, grabbing my eyeballs and not letting go.  Fortunately, this was a better comic all around.  It’s a great idea: a TV show busting urban legends a la Mythbusters that REALLY seriously investigates the truth behind the rumors.  And the best part is that it could be done in any format but the creators chose to do it as a comic.  (Legitimacy!)  The art by JM Ringuet and Axel Medellin is adequate, but stiff and used fairly stock posing and acting. The previews for issue #1 appear to be a different artist in a different style, so I’m looking forward to seeing if there’s any growth there.

Roger Langridge would be a hero of ours if he had only ever done  Boom!’s first Muppet Show miniseries, but he has continually impressed us with work on Snarked and the rest of an incredibly well-written and drawn Muppet run.  So despite no more than a passing familiarity with the characters, I picked up Popeye #1 on the strength of his name alone.  It was a fine comic, and Bruce Ozella’s art seemed to mimic the original well enough for me, but to be honest, the sea voyage to retrieve a mystery creature was enough for me the first time in Snarked.  This just felt like the same story with licensed characters.  I’ll leave it to Matt or Brother of the Blog Stephen to decide how good it is in the context of Popeye, but I’m not really intrigued enough to go any further with  it.

It’s been a while since I read any Tick comics, essentially since the late 90’s when Luny Bin and Tick and Arthur came out.  I decided  that Tick #100’s Invincible crossover would be as good a place to jump back in as any.  And it was!  A great comic all around that brings both characters together in a forgettable enough way and then lets them go crazy together.  It’s a lot of fun, and completely accessible as long as you have a passing familiarity with the characters, even from the old TV show.  And kudos to Benito Cereno for referencing such craziness that’s been happening in this title lately that I have no choice now but to pick up back issues of the current run.  My only real complaint (and I find myself having this problem more and more lately) is the scene transitions are often abrupt or jerky.

NEC Press, knowing this was it’s chance to snag new readers (and recapture some lapsed ones like myself) then took the opportunity to explain the Tick’s publishing history, and how the original run and multiple miniseries since then fit in together.  It was an excellent chance to play catch-up, and quite appreciated.  However, there’s always a gotcha, and the catch with Tick #100 is that it was 7 dollars.  The main story was only 24 pages and the publishing history took up about half the book.  That is WAY too much for the amount of content.  The backmatter should have been more condensed (the pictures were beautiful, but filler) and it should have run 5 bucks.  Price aside, this was damn near a perfect comic.

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